The Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology (PLE) is a superb year-round facility that is part of Pitt's Department of Biological Sciences. Located in Northwestern Pennsylvania on the shores of beautiful Pymatuning Lake, PLE is dedicated to serving the academic community and visitors from around the world. We have four core missions:
1. Offer excellent undergraduate summer courses with highly qualified instructors
2. Facilitate cutting-edge research in ecology, evolution, and the environment.
3. Conduct outreach to the broader community of residents and K-12 schools
4. Serve as a beautiful center for conferences and retreats.
For those interested in PLE summer courses, we have a spectacular line-up of field classes and instructors this year, including two brand new courses. Previous students tell us that PLE summer courses rate among their favorite courses taken in their four years of their undergraduate education! The reason is that we combine outstanding instructors with a beautiful natural setting on Pymatuning Lake.
If you are interested in conducting research at PLE, we have a number of spacious modern laboratories as well as considerable land holdings, all within a matrix of extensive public lands. You'll enjoy a peaceful accommodation as well as the social interactions with a diversity of fellow faculty, post-doctoral researchers and graduate students from around the United States.
Our outreach program is reaching out to middle schools and high schools in the region to bring science into classrooms. This happens by bringing teachers to PLE for week-long workshops on a variety of topics including Ecology, Evolution, Experimental Design, and Ecotoxicology. This also happens by having researchers visit schools to talk about their science and to bring real experiments into schools and having the students assist.
As a conference center, PLE is the perfect relaxing destination for a conference or retreat. We have a beautiful facility that can sleep 120 people at a time and feed up to 150 people. Our facilities include cabins, dormitories, a brand new dining hall, lecture rooms, and lots of great recreational activities.
We strive to fulfill these four missions while providing outstanding customer service. We hope you find the information on this website informative and interesting.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you soon!